Karaka's Clean Sweep of HK Triple Crown   28 May 2012

The talented stayer Liberator has taken the biggest race victory of his career beating fellow Karaka graduate Ambitious Dragon in the final leg of Hong Kong's Triple Crown, the HK$8 million HK-1 Champions & Chater Cup (2400m) at Sha Tin last night.

With Hong Kong's Horse of the Year Ambitious Dragon (Pins) having won the first two legs of the Triple Crown - the HK-1 Stewards' Cup (1600m) and the HK-1 Hong Kong Gold Cup (2000m) - it was Liberator who claimed race honours in the final leg giving Karaka graduates a clean sweep in the prestigious Triple Crown.

Ridden by jockey Weichong Marwing, the four-year-old gelding Liberator (Encosta de Lago x Miss Helga) raced close to the pace in the 2400 metre feature, with Ambitious Dragon (Pins) racing at the back of the field.

Liberator Chater Cup
Liberator races away to give Karaka a clean sweep of Hong Kong's Triple Crown. Photo courtesy of the HKJC.
After increasing the tempo and contesting the lead at the 800 metre mark, Liberator took control of the race 600 metres from home and kicked clear in the straight, with a brilliant performance holding off the fast finishing Ambitious Dragon to win by a length-and-a-half.

"He has improved so much and the race just panned out so well for him because if he sits on the outside of a horse he's at his best," said Liberator's trainer David Ferraris.

"If he can sit on a horse's girth and travel comfortably, he's hard to run down. I knew when he kicked hard like that the rest would have to pick up their feet because he's an out and out stayer. It was a very good move from Marwing because if they had kept up the slow tempo they would have out sprinted us."

Liberator was purchased by the Hong Kong Jockey Club from Gordon Cunningham's Curraghmore Stud at New Zealand Bloodstock's 2009 Karaka Premier Sale for $360,000. He was then offered at the 2009 Hong Kong International Sale where the son of Encosta de Lago was purchased by Siu Kim Sun Martin for HK$5 million.

"Most of these nice horses are bought from overseas trainers but it's nice to bring one up from scratch. He will have a well-earned rest now and we will aim him at the Group 1 Hong Kong Vase in December," said Ferraris.

Bred by Caradale Pty Ltd, Liberator is raced by the 06/07 David Ferraris Trainer Syndicate and the four-year-old's record now stands at 23 starts for 5 wins and seven placings for over $1.3 million in stakes.

Ambitious Dragon was looking to become just the second horse to win all three legs of the Triple Crown, a feat accomplished only by River Verdon (Be My Native) in 1994.

His wins in the first two legs were outstanding performances and his second placing last night was every bit up to the high standard that has become expected from the reigning Horse of the Year.

Untested over 2400 metres, the race was unchartered territory for Ambitious Dragon and his trainer Tony Millard was very proud of the five-year-old's performance.

"He was very gallant in defeat and I couldn't be happier with him. He just got found out by a top-class ride from Marwing."

Bred by Mr Pat Lowry, Ambitious Dragon was offered by Belvedere Farm at the 2008 Karaka Select Sale and has won 10 of his 20 starts for over NZ$6.3 million in stakes.

New Zealand bred horses and Karaka graduates were to the fore last night at Sha Tin winning five races on the 11-race card.

Scarlett Camellia (Spartacus) continued his impressive start he has made in Hong Kong. Winning his only race last season for trainer Danny Shum, the four-year-old has won three of his six starts this season including last night's Class 3 Oriental Express Handicap (1600m).

Mega Castle (Brilliance) took his second win of the season for trainer Manfred Man in the Class 5 Quicken Away Handicap (1600m), while Isitide (Istidaad) was successful for trainer Andreas Schutz in the Class 4 River Verdon Handicap, also over a mile, bringing up his first win in Hong Kong.

The John Size trained Real Specialist (Storming Home) is another that is making his way through the grades. From 10 starts the four-year-old has won five races including the Class 2 Viva Pataca Handicap (1800m) last night by an impressive two-and-a-quarter-lengths.

(NZ Bloodstock)

Add a comment

Bookmark and Share

News

Dynamic New Zealand writers to feature at this year’s Edinburgh International Book Festival

20 Jul 2017 Arts
Dynamic New Zealand writers making waves at home and abroad will present their work and participate in this year’s Edinburgh... more

$9.4m to support students with English as a second language

26 Jun 2017 Education
22 June 2017 Students learning English as a second language will benefit from a further $9.4 million being made available under... more

Business

Rocket launch a huge step for New Zealand’s space industry

25 May 2017 Business News
25 May 2017 Minister for Economic Development Simon Bridges has congratulated the team at Rocket Lab on the successful launch of... more

Increased investor confidence welcomed

29 May 2017 Business News
29 May 2017 Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Jacqui Dean today welcomed the Financial Markets Authority annual survey results... more

Living

NZ's Sola Rosa heading "Back to You" in London - interview with Andrew Spraggon

6 Jul 2017 Entertainment By Charlotte Everett
Sola Rosa Soundsystem heads back to London with a show on 27 July – NZNewsUK London Editor Charlotte Everett caught up with... more

Spirit of “Mateship” prominent at London ANZAC commemorations

25 Apr 2017 ANZAC By Charlotte Everett
All photos copyright Peter Livingstone Photography. Lead image: HRH The Duke of York (far right), with the Hon Alexander Downer (far... more

Property

New Zealand Housing Affordability Measure released

10 May 2017 Property
10 May 2017 The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s (MBIE) new Housing Affordability Measure will allow the market... more

NZ house prices gain 11% in October

14 Nov 2016 Property
Article - BusinessDesk Monday 14 November 2016 10:28 AM NZ house prices gain 11% in October, driven by sales of higher value homes By... more

Migration

Suspension of decision making authority

25 Apr 2017 Migration
24 April 2017Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse is taking steps to improve Immigration New Zealand’s decision making... more

Recognised Seasonal Employers employ more Kiwis

8 Feb 2017 Migration
7 Feb 2017 Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse welcomes a report showing the vast majority of employers who take on seasonal... more

Travel

International visitors projected to spend $15 billion

12 May 2017 Travel & Tourism
12 May 2017 New Zealand’s tourism sector is forecast to grow significantly over the next seven years, with international... more

Tourism spending continues rise in 2017

10 May 2017 Travel & Tourism
27 April 2017 Tourism spending by both international and domestic visitors continues to grow strongly in 2017, Acting Tourism Minister... more

Sport

SPECIAL LIMITED OFFER: Barbarians v NZ, Twickenham 4 Nov - £55 tickets, All Blacks Supporters Bay

20 Jul 2017 Rugby
In 2009 the Barbarian team had a phenomenal line up of world class players; Matt Giteau, Victor Matfield, George Smith, Jamie Roberts,... more

Columns

Gordon Campbell on the Gareth Morgan crusade

11 Nov 2016 Opinion
Column - Gordon Campbell   Gordon Campbell on the Gareth Morgan crusade First published on Werewolf more

Gordon Campbell on the US election outcome

10 Nov 2016 Opinion
Column - Gordon Campbell   Gordon Campbell on the US election outcome more

Kiwi Success

Law Commissioner appointed

29 May 2017 Appointments
29 May 2017 Former Secretary for Justice Belinda Clark has been appointed as Law Commissioner, Justice Minister Amy Adams announced... more

Spencer to be Acting Governor of Reserve Bank

8 Feb 2017 Appointments
7 Feb 2017 Finance Minister Steven Joyce will appoint current Deputy Reserve Bank Governor Grant Spencer as the Acting Governor of... more

Recruitment

Online job ads continue growing strongly

26 Jun 2017 Recruitment
23 June 2017 Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Paul Goldsmith says the latest Jobs Online report shows strong growth... more

New employment resource for young people

1 Mar 2017 Recruitment
28 Feb 2017 Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Paul Goldsmith and Associate Education Minister Louise Upston have... more

s